Courteeners in Kingston – No bottle job second time around for the Mancunian band

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4/5 stars

It felt as if the Manchester-based band had unfinished business in Kingston as they performed at Pryzm in January.

Their last show, at the now-closed Hippodrome in 2016 ended abruptly after lead singer Liam Fray was hit by a bottle thrown from a crowd.

Despite the chaos lingering over their last performance, Courteeners have come back stronger than ever to put on a tremendous display for their new album More. Again. Forever.
Drunken KU students packed into the club, ready to warmly greet the band once again. Drinks were spilt, and screams were heard as the group finally made their way onto the stage.

The band kicked off the night with beautifully dark songs Heart Attack and Heavy Jacket. The echoing beats demonstrated the fresh direction the group were taking.

The band followed this up in majestic form with classic Are You In Love With A Notion?, while fans yelled back the lyrics at the band in harmony.

Courteeners possess some of the most beloved fans in music, especially in the north of England, and this love was brought down to Kingston, with chants echoing around Przym throughout the night.

The band went on to play other fan-favourites such as Small Bones, Modern Love and The 17th, with the latter ironically allowing fans to sing along to the lyrics “we’re having such a good time, having such a good time”.

Like most of their gigs, Fray knows how to send the crowd home happy, coming back on stage for their encore to perform their biggest hit Not Nineteen Forever which gave the crowd a new burst of life as they jumped around with all arms swaying and waving.

The band finished the night strong with the classic from their first album What Took You So Long? which resulted in a long, harmonic chant from the crowd even as they left the night club and ventured back into the cold night.

It can be tough for a band such as Courteeners to revamp themselves each album, especially with a fan base fixated on their early material, but that did not stop Fray from thanking the crowd for “being so receptive” towards the group’s latest offering.

That being said, More. Again. Forever. has just rewarded the band with their seventh top 10 albums in the UK, showing that the fans are still as enthusiastic as they were in 2008.

It is safe to say that Courteeners are in no rush to stop their success anytime soon as they continue to entertain their audiences, whether it be in front of 60,000 people at Heaton Park, or a small night club in Kingston upon Thames.

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